Terry's Towing Blog

After Dark Breakdown: What Happens When Your Car Gives Up in the Wee Hours

There is no ideal time for your car to break down. Having said that, your car breaking down at your final destination in daylight hours when the sun is shining is infinitely preferable to a breakdown in the dead of night in an isolated location. Your own safety is paramount if the latter were to occur, and yet you also need to ensure that your vehicle receives the attention it needs. So what should you do when your car breaks down late at night, possibly in the middle of nowhere?

Leaving Your Vehicle Overnight

It might be wise to defer any action until a more agreeable hour, but this is only possible if your vehicle is going to be safe where it has broken down. Obviously this is not the case if you have been forced to pull over onto the median strip of the highway, but in some locations, your vehicle might be fine to be left overnight. Check any parking restrictions on the street where the breakdown has occurred. It might be necessary to pay for overnight parking if a pay and display system is in effect. Though potentially pricey, you are buying yourself some necessary time. Overnight parking might not be possible if manual parking meters are present, due to the limited time that such a meter can be used. Having said that, carefully check the signage on the meter. Some city councils use a smartphone app which allows for a direct payment option above and beyond the meter's manual capabilities. Call a friend or family member to take you home, or use public transport.

Roadside Assistance

If leaving your vehicle where is has broken down is not an option, you might wish to utilise a roadside assistance service. If the cause of the breakdown is a minor one, the service might be able to perform the repairs while you wait. This is a convenient course of action, but only if you are in fact a member of this service. Some services will still offer assistance to non-members, but (rather unsurprisingly) there are some costs involved. It will vary depending on the provider, but you might need to immediately pay for membership along with a service fee to cover the matter at hand. If possible, it can be worthwhile to call a few of these providers to check the price while waiting in your vehicle.

Arranging for Your Vehicle to Be Towed

If roadside assistance for a non-member is too costly, you can opt for a more straightforward solution. Call a local towing company (one that specialises in after-hours services) and request that the vehicle be towed. They can either bring it straight to a mechanic who can begin repairs once they open again in the morning, or they can bring your vehicle back to your home where it will be safe and legally parked while you determine the best course of action.

A breakdown after dark can be concerning, but it's not too complicated to arrange the care that your vehicle needs, even in the wee hours of the morning.